Wednesday, May 28, 2014

     There is little doubt that the Veterans Affairs Administration may be at a low point of effectiveness and public confidence.  The lack of confidence is justified by huge backlogs and recent allegations of manipulation of scheduling procedures to mask long waits for appointments.  Some of these long waits may have lead to veterans dying while waiting for medical services to which they were entitled.  Incompetence, failure, and internal corruption and cover up create more than enough blame to go around.  Many are calling for the resignation of Eric Shinseki, the Director of the VA.
Politics, poor performance, and public opinion may prevail in securing his resignation.
     Firing Shinseki may seem like a reasonable and justified action, but...then what?  Who has the requisite management skills to right the ship and credibility with Congress, the White House, and, most important, veterans and their families?  And, if they met these criteria would they want the job?  I can suggest a prime candidate and two backup candidates.  The prime candidate is Gen. Colin Powell and the backups are former senators Bob Kerry and Jim Webb.  The question is whether any of them would choose to spend the next thirty months of their lives serving their country and their fellow veterans fighting the bureaucratic battle inside the VA.

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